Harvard Takes 10-9 Ivy Semi
BOSTON, Mass. – It came down to the very last seconds. The No. 15 ranked Bulldogs battled the No. 1 seed to the very end but came up short in what could be their last game of the 2014 season. Yale fell 10-9 to Harvard in the second semifinal of the Ivy League Tournament.
Yale, which had two goals erased by crease violations, played the No. 12 Crimson to a pair of one-goal games over the last two weeks. Both were classic college lacrosse games, but this one was more crucial for the two-time tourney champions who were looking for a third straight NCAA bid.
Dylan Levings won the first two face-offs, which helped the Elis jump out to a 2-0 lead and send an early message. Brandon Mangan ran out from behind the net and fired a shot over both the defender and the goalie at 13:38 to begin the scoring and notch his 99th career goal.
Shakespeare turned a Michael Bonacci crossing pass into a laser shot from the left side that went high and inside the far post at 12:05 to make it 2-0.
After a Crimson score, Shane Thornton got in the scoring act with Yale's third tally. The junior midfielder sprinted past a defender on the right side and then fired over Jake Gambitsky's shoulder at 7:51.
Harvard got three in a row in the first to grab its first lead at 4-3, but Oberbeck was about to show why he is an All-America candidate. The junior sprinted in from the corner with a defender on him and another approaching, protected the ball and then sent a 10-footer into the back of the net as he was getting hit head on to even things at 4-4. Yale's leading scorer opened the second with his second straight on a great turnaround shot after coming from behind the net to give the visitors another lead.
Yale, trying to beat a Cantabs team that is 7-0 at home, had the edge in shots (31-24), ground balls (30-25) and face-offs (13-10).
The Crimson reeled off four straight in the first half before Oberbeck (38 goals this spring) got his third. With time running out in the second and his team desperately in need of a tally, the Greenwich, Conn., native ran across the crease from behind the cage and then cut in front of the net on the right side for another turn-around shot that zipped under the cross bar with 14 seconds left. It was his 94th career goal and tied him for seventh on the Yale list.
"He (Oberbeck) came up with big goals in big moments when we needed it," said Andy Shay, Yale's Ryan & Forst Head Coach.
Cimalista converted a Thornton feed at 10:13 to cut the margin to 8-7 before the Eli defense turned it up a notch and forced consecutive turnovers. Cimbalista came through again. This time he caught a pass from Mangan and quickly released a shot on the run at 4:33.
Harvard pulled things together and got the next two goals early in the fourth, while holding the Blue off the board until Shakespeare scored with eight seconds left to cut the margin to 10-9.
Levings won the face-off and Colin Flaherty grabbed the loose ball before throwing it toward Cimbalista, who was 20 feet from the goal. The freshman had only a few ticks on the clock and couldn't control it long enough to get off a shot.
"I thought they (Harvard) played a great defensive game," said Oberbeck. "They did not allow us to slide and forced us to be more creative. Their goalie made a couple of big saves at 8-8, which was our best opportunity."
In the first semifinal, Penn erased a 10-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to take an 11-10 decision against Cornell… Six Bulldogs earned All-Ivy League honors earlier this week including Conrad Oberbeck, a first-team pick… Today marks the first time Yale has played the same Ivy opponent in consecutive games since 1882 when the Blue played Princeton twice in a row in the fall (10/14/1882, Princeton 2-0 at NH; 10/21/1882, 2-1 Princeton at NJ)… ESPNU unveils the national tournament bracket during its hour-long 2014 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship Selection Show on Sunday, May 4, at 9 p.m. ET… The 73rd United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/ LaxWorld North-South Division I/II game will be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore May 25th at 10:00 a.m. Numerous Yale seniors could be invited to compete in this contest.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Mark LeRoux image of Conrad Oberbeck